To claim, or not to claim?
That is the question most of us have when it comes to tax time.
And while you might be thinking you can claim that study book or meal as a deduction, you have been warned – the tax man will be watching.
Anyone with deduction claims higher than expected will be under the gaze of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) this year, according to ATO assistant commissioner Graham Whyte.
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On the hit list are car expenses, including transporting bulky tools, and deductions for travel, internet, mobile phone bills and self-education expenses.
“Generally speaking, if you claim a deduction you need to remember the three golden rules,” Mr Whyte said.
“One, make sure you spent the money yourself and were not reimbursed; two, make sure it’s related to your job; and three, you need a record to prove it.”
If you made a similar claim last year, it might not stack up this year. Changes have been made in the rules for calculating car expenses, which means people need to use a logbook or the cents per kilometre claim to support their claims.
“It is important to remember that you can only claim a deduction for work-related car expenses if you use your own car in the course of performing your job as an employee,” Mr Whyte said.
“Most people can’t claim the cost of travel between home and work because this travel is private.”
Think you still might be able to get it through?
Generally speaking, if you claim a deduction you need to remember the three golden rules."ATO assistant commissioner Graham Whyte
New sophisticated technology employed by ATO officers will alert them to anything which stands out.
That means those receipts are vital.
Mr Whyte said it isn’t about catching you out, but rather helping you to ensure your making the right claims.
“The ATO will take a closer look at any unusual deductions and contact employers to validate these claims, so it’s worth getting things right at the start,” he said.
For the first time, ATO officers will be checking deductions in real-time as they complete their return.
Unsure of what to claim?
When it comes to the in’s and out’s of what you can claim, it it best to speak to a professional.
Paisley Robertson can help guide you through the tax claim process.
The firm is up-to-date with the latest updates to tax law and place emphasis on compliance and lodgement deadlines.
Its services are not only related to compliance, but general accounting and taxation, business start-up, budgeting, superannuation and consultancy and succession planning.